Having scored his first ever hat-trick for Arsenal on his way to a well deserved Man of the Match award and getting the Gunners into the knockout stage of the Champions League, Arsene Wenger wants his fellow Frenchman Olivier Giroud to carry on and keep getting more goals on a consistent basis.
But even though the boss spoke very highly of the centre forward and his qualities in a report on the Arsenal website, he also made it quite clear that the big French forward would have to share the central striking duties with his smaller and faster team mate Theo Walcott.
The Arsenal manager said, “If you go on counter-attack of course he is not the kind of player that you want or select first. That is why when we played against Bayern, I chose [Theo] Walcott because you know you play more in your own half and you have to go out quickly.
“But when you dominate the game and need presence in the box there is no better player than Olivier. He gives everything in every session, he is not a guy who plays within himself, but he has a good stamina, good power. When you stand next to him as a defender, it is difficult to get in front of him because he is very strong.
“I believe as well because he is not an electric type of player, he gets less spectacular actions and less credit as well [because of that]. You see a guy who is electric and you say ‘that is fantastic’. But the kind of header he scored for the first goal [at Olympiacos], you do not get so much credit.
“Olivier wants to work more. You need to show that you don’t lose your confidence, but he’s ready to put a shift in and to work harder. I like the career of a guy who has come down and comes up again.
“That shows you that he has mental strength. Life was not easy for him in sport because he was in small clubs and came up and plays at Arsenal. That means he has the mental strength. Mental selection is the most difficult when you go down and then come up again and he has that strength.”
Luckily enough for Giroud and his confidence levels, Arsenal’s Premier League game this weekend is against Aston Villa, the club propping up the division, and so should be one that is ideally suited to the qualities Giroud brings to the table.
So can he follow up his Greek hat´trick with more goals in the West Midlands?